The recurring leak of West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination papers is far from over as three of the papers in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) have been leaked.
The Daily Graphic can authoritatively say that some students in some schools in the Greater Accra and the Eastern regions had access to the examination papers between 12 midnight and 4 a.m. on the day the papers were written.
The Oral English, Integrated Science and Social Studies papers have all leaked.
The 109 obtained copies of leaked papers that were confirmed after the papers were written.
There are also pictures on social media showing students copying answers on their thighs.
The papers were circulated among some students mainly through social media platforms, particularly Whatsapp.
A Whatsapp group chat with one Neezy Ranking, the administrator and alleged student of a first-class senior high school (SHS) in the Eastern Region, was one of the sources of the leaked papers.
The Whatsapp group is named Lagadia — a term students use for leaked examination papers or what is also popularly referred to among student circles as “apor”.
The group comes alive from 10 p.m. when the expectant students keep asking their source when the questions will be leaked.
At dawn, the supplier of the papers sends the questions to the group using a MTN phone number.
In one of the chats, Neezy Ranking, which is a nickname, appears to calm the nerves of his clients, saying in shorthand and pidgin English: “All my clients, jx relax and wait patiently for de laga…int science go drop ditto dito,” to wit: “All my clients, just relax and wait patiently for the leaked papers…Integrated Science will appear ditto ditto.”
“From my source, he say by 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. he drop giv me. he make late craa 4:30 a.”, meaning: “My source says by 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. he will send me the papers. Even if he is late, it will be 4.30 a.m.”
Indeed, the questions appeared as assured, only that the question numbers were changed and some red herrings thrown in.
In other instances, the questions were tweaked slightly with synonyms.
In another chat, when the papers had finally arrived, Ranking told his group that they should start solving the papers, noting that two others that were sent earlier were past questions from 2007.
Meanwhile, sources at WAEC have confirmed that some officials had received reports about the leaked questions, probably from the hinterlands where the papers had been dispatched earlier.
The sources, however, indicated that the council was investigating the issue and would deal with the culprits.
The Head of the Ghana National Office of WAEC, the Very Rev. Samuel Nii Nmai Ollennu, told the Junior Graphic in an interview last month that the council had introduced new security measures to prevent the leakage papers in all its examinations.
While he would not divulge the measures because “we want to ensure the sanctity and credibility of our examinations”, it appears whichever syndicate is leaking the papers has found a way around the security measures.
WAEC has been battling with leakage of its examination papers for some time now.
In 2015, barely 48 hours to the start of the WASSCE, photos of some question papers began circulating on social media, raising questions about the credibility of the examination.
Last year, the council cancelled five subject papers in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) — papers 2 of English Language, Religious and Moral Education, Integrated Science, Mathematics and Social Studies.
The cancellation followed the discovery by the council that those papers had leaked.
In the Junior Graphic interview referred to earlier, the Very Rev. Ollennu had said the new security arrangements had worked well and expressed the hope that they would help prevent any form of examination leaks this year and beyond.
The measures, he said, were used during the General Business Certificate Examination (GBCE), the Advanced Business Certificate Examination (ABCE), the November-December WASSCE last year, as well as the 2016 private BECE.
He pointed out that it was important that stakeholders joined the fight to deal with the canker of examination malpractices, and that nobody should think that it was the responsibility of WAEC alone